China Guangfa Bank Said to Plan $2 Billion Hong Kong Share Sale

China Guangfa Bank Co., part-owned by Citigroup Inc., plans to seek about $2 billion through a Hong Kong initial public offering after shelving a proposed Shanghai listing, said people with knowledge of the matter.

The Guangzhou-based lender, formerly known as Guangdong Development Bank Co., aims to start the share sale in the second half, two of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The company has yet to seek approval from the Hong Kong stock exchange, they said.

China Guangfa, which originally planned a dual listing, is putting its Shanghai offer on hold because it remains difficult to get regulatory approval for billion-dollar IPOs there, one of the people said. China reopened its local IPO market in January following a 15-month freeze during which it overhauled rules governing first-time share sales.

Credit Suisse Group AG was recently promoted to joint sponsor on the Hong Kong offering, from a joint bookrunner role, according to two of the people. Other joint sponsors include Bank of America Corp., Citic Securities Co., Citigroup, Deutsche Bank AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., they said.

A Guangzhou-based spokesman for China Guangfa, who asked not to be named citing company policy, declined to comment on the IPO plan. Noel Cheung, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for Credit Suisse, declined to comment.

A group of investors led by Citigroup spent $3.1 billion to acquire a majority stake in the bank in 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Citigroup’s partners in the investment included International Business Machines Corp., China Life Insurance Co. and State Grid Corp. of China, the data show.

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